Pope Francis: It’s better to be ‘atheist’ than attend daily mass as hypocrite

ROME, January 2, 2019

“How many times have we witnessed the scandal of those who go to church and spend all day there or attend every day, and later go on hating others or speaking ill of people. This is a scandal,” the Argentine pontiff said.

The pope added, “It would be better to not go to church. Live like an atheist. If you go to church, then live like a son, like a brother, like an authentic witness, not a counter-witness.”

Pope Francis has been unstinting in his criticisms of some Catholics, particularly traditional-minded ones, whom he asserts have failed to meet the mark. In 2013, Catholic blogger Laurence English released “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults,” which continues to document the epithets used by the pontiff to describe those whom he criticizes. These include: “superficial Christian,” “climbers…attached to money,” and “fomenters of coprophagia!” The pope has regularly referred to some traditionalist Catholics as “rigid.”

Other derogatory phrases used by the pope include “pepper-faced,” “liquid,” and “weak-hoped” Christians; “museum mummies” and “old maids”; and priests and seminarians who qualify as “vain,” “wheeler-dealers,” “little monsters,” and “smarmy idolaters.”

During his regular Wednesday audience for pilgrims to the Vatican, the pope issued a homily on the Gospel of Matthew which refers to the “hypocrites” who pray so that “they can be seen by people.” This is repeated today, the pope said, by “atheists, without God, to be merely admired.” “Pagans,” the pontiff said, “think they pray by talking, talking, and talking. I think that many Christians believe that praying is to talk to God, if you’ll forgive me, like a parrot. No, praying is done in the heart, from within.”

On the other hand, Pope Francis said that Jesus Christ “crowned with joy” those persons who “were given little consideration in those days, but also today,” including the poor and the merciful. “This is the Gospel revolution. Everyone is capable of love. Peacemakers that until then had been on the margin of history are building the Kingdom of God.” He emphasized, “Where the Gospel is, so too is revolution. The Gospel does not leave us unmoved. It pushes us; it is revolutionary.”


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20 Responses to Pope Francis: It’s better to be ‘atheist’ than attend daily mass as hypocrite

  1. kathleen says:

    “Hatred” is a very strong word. Traditional Catholics may hate the confusion, banalities, and even the unCatholic ways of Pope Francis, but I (personally) don’t know a single one who hates the Pope. In fact, we/they pray incessantly for him and his conversion! Should there be any who do harbour hatred in their hearts, one would hope that attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that commences with prayers of repentance, would help wipe away this sinful feeling.

    But does Pope Francis really know the teaching and Words of Christ? Their meanings?

    “And why seest thou the mote in thy brother’s eye: but the beam that is in thy own eye thou considerest not?” (Luke 6:41)

    He has always been the first to demonstrate in word and deed his pure hatred for traditional Catholics. So here is just one more deplorable example of “pot calling the kettle black” from the lips of the Pontiff!
    Although his final words quoted in the last paragraph of the article above (^) might appear to redeem him somewhat, this is no more than the usual Peronist-type swinging of statements to cover himself… something we are all well used to by now (sigh).

    (Nothing new to see here folks; move along please 😉.)


  2. mmvc says:

    Not quite sure who PF mixes with, but I have never met a daily Mass goer who is a ‘hater’. We are all prone to sin and temptation and sometimes we fail and fall repeatedly, but the best remedy for that is to frequent and draw strength from the sacraments. To give up and embrace the emptiness of atheism is to despair and as I understand it, that is a sin against the Holy Spirit.


  3. geoffkiernan says:

    mmvc…..Kathleen…. You have nailed it. How much more from Francis ? ? ?


  4. Fernanda A Ho says:

    I would not go as far as atheists, but what i do believe is that one goes to Mass for the right reasons, not just go there out of habit and as well show others that they in fact went to Mass, while thinking how long is the Mass so that i can leave soon, what am I going to cook for dinner tonight, etc. etc. etc.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    I feel guilty when I occasionally say disrespectful things (but never vulgar things – at least not yet) about PF; but who can turn away from disrespect when he constantly berates, insults and sneers at Catholic people we either know personally or who we look up to?

    People here remember joyfulpapist from years ago, on this blog or on other ones. I can well imagine her attending Mass daily or several times weekly; and a more orthodox Catholic (also a convert I seem to recall) and more kindly person would be difficult to find. Despite her orthodoxy, she never fell into that bad habit that I and some other bloggers (who do not go to daily Mass) share of biting sarcasm when referring to cafeteria Catholics, let alone atheists and others like them.

    She used to have a banner on her personal blog (which I’ve not visited in years – if it still exists) featuring all the popes going back to Pius XII. I wonder whether joyfulpapist updated her banner after March 13th, 2013, or if she dropped “papist” from her blog name sometime thereafter, or perhaps she now identifies as joyfulpapist* ?

    As you know from occasional references to my personal library, I’ve more than a modest collection of Catholica; but, with regret, I’ve not yet added anything to it written by, or ghostwritten for PF.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    Looking at the photo introducing this post (which I cannot see on the originating LifeSiteNews link) I cannot identify PF’s sidekick in terms of his canonical status, if he has one; but my knowledge of Catholic vestiture is not very good. He cannot be a priest or a deacon, can he? Is he an altar boy? He may be a better man than Gunga Din was – as Kipling might say – but he looks very *odd*.


  7. John says:

    Perhaps you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Maybe he is working up to telling us something with this hint. Who is continually spewing out hateful remarks – particularly against traditional Catholics? Pope Francis might be making an excuse for his choice. If he does identify as an atheist it would explain a lot about his opinions.


  8. johnhenrycn says:

    I think of my friend in high school, Colin Benner, who died 5 years ago (18 January) from a disease he developed in Thailand where he was a Protestant missionary. Pope Francis thinks strict Catholics have no love for people who do not accept our Catholic faith; but I love Colin and have Masses said for him every year, even though – technically – as a strict Catholic, I should not do so because he was not Catholic. Here’s a song Colin and I used to sing, thinking of girls back then:


  9. Tom Fisher says:

    During his general audience at the Vatican today, Pope Francis condemned Catholics who go to church every day but “go on hating” their fellow men. He said it “is better” that they not go

    Surely they should go more, not less?

    Other derogatory phrases used by the pope include “pepper-faced,” “liquid,” and “weak-hoped” Christians; “museum mummies” and “old maids”; and priests and seminarians who qualify as “vain,” “wheeler-dealers,” “little monsters,” and “smarmy idolaters.”

    Eventually he stopped yelling at the janitor and went upstairs to bed.


  10. Tom Fisher says:

    Despite her orthodoxy, she never fell into that bad habit that I and some other bloggers (who do not go to daily Mass) share of biting sarcasm when referring to cafeteria Catholics, let alone atheists and others like them

    She had the rare gift of being happy to discuss anything with anyone, and to get along with them to the extent that they were people of good will. She never lost her joy in having found the truth, and wanted other people to share in that joy. She had a calm confidence in her faith which meant that she didn’t ‘bristle’ when confronted with nonsense, it didn’t bother her.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Anne says:

    I don’t understand how someone who goes to Mass everyday can be filled with hate.


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    In other news today, Pope Francis issued “a heartfelt appeal in a public address at the Vatican” pleading with Europe to cut its throat.


  13. Tom Fisher says:

    Please note, I’m sharing the clip of the good Cardinal — I do not in any way endorse the twitter account the video is shared by


  14. johnhenrycn says:

    I didn’t look at the Twitter feed, Tom, but the Cardinal (which one, I don’t recognise him?) speaks plain truth. More than that – the way he speaks it reminds me that French is most beautiful language in the world.


  15. mmvc says:

    Thanks for the link Tom. Cardinal Sarah, that great and holy man, sees and calls things out for what they really are.

    Agreed JH, dans la plus belle langue du monde ;o)


  16. kathleen says:

    So true Tom!
    One could say that Joyfulpapist was the “perfect” Catholic apologist. Not only was she extremely knowledgeable on the teachings of the Catholic Faith, but she lived them too with palpable joy and love at all times, even when dealing with the nastiest of trolls – a great example for all of us who were privileged know her.

    We missed her so much when she decided to give up blogging, a decision we could never fully understand as her success at imparting the Faith was truly amazing. She had been a very hard-working blogger and commenter, efficiently running her own personal blog besides being one of the team here, and this must have taken a large chunk of her time and energy away from her large family and job as an author (I think). She presumably came to realise this herself when she went off on a short holiday with her husband, the last time she ever blogged, saying she would return soon (“AWOL”). But she never reappeared …

    For some time we were worried about her whereabouts, but then thanks to you, Tom, we heard all was well but that, sadly, she had given up on blogging on Catholic media. What a loss for all of us!

    How I would love to know what dear “joyful” would have to say about Pope Francis’ continuous scandalous shenanigans, especially this last one reported on this thread (^)!


  17. johnhenrycn says:

    Thank you, MMVC, regarding Cdl Sarah. I did think of him straight away (honest injun) but then I looked at the dust jacket of The Power of Silence for his photo, and he seemed chubbier back then (2017).


  18. Mary Salmond says:

    Isn’t the atheist one with hate in his heart?


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